Actor, officers targeted by Phoenix Comicon armed suspect, police say

Posted: Updated:

The 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' actor who was allegedly targeted, along with police officers, at Phoenix Comicon said Friday that he did not know the suspect.

Jason David Frank called the arrest of an armed man, who police said intended to harm officers and Frank on Thursday, an “eye-opening experience.” He also said that the incident will not stop him from meeting his fans and continuing with his regularly scheduled appearances at Phoenix Comicon.

Court documents said the suspect, 29-year-old Mathew Sterling, brought several guns and knives to the event on Thursday and posted on social media about who he intended to kill, one of those people included Frank.

[RELATED: Security changes at Comicon after armed man arrested]

An associate alerted police about Sterling’s Facebook posts, and officers were able to locate and arrest him at the event.

In the wake of the incident, Phoenix Comicon organizers have banned all weapons, real or fake, from being brought into the Phoenix Convention Center.  

Frank had some words of advice for anyone upset about the weapons prop ban.

“Don’t let that inhibit creativity and [the] festive atmosphere,” Frank said. He encouraged people to do so in a safe way.

"When we cosplay, we have to cosplay in a proper way, not to scare people or little kids."

Frank also said, about a Facebook post that Sterling allegedly made about stabbing him in years past, that he has never been stabbed by anyone.

“I think it speaks for itself,” Frank said about the Facebook post.

Frank said he was scheduled to be at Phoenix Comicon all day Thursday but “something” told him not to go until 8 p.m. Sterling was taken into custody at 12 p.m.

Phoenix Comicon founder Matthew Solberg said no decisions about props have been made for next year’s Phoenix Comicon, but that the remainder of the event for this weekend will see increased security and fewer entry points.

“The individual who came in yesterday had intent, and was not going to follow the rules,” Solberg said.

No one was hurt in Thursday’s incident.

For updated security measures, click here.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.